Virginians vote on Election Day
For a non-presidential race, voter turnout looked pretty good this morning in Greene County, and in the Valley. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports from Ruckersville, and from Harrisonburg.
Despite the drizzle, the parking lot outside Ruckersville Elementary School was full just after 11 a.m. Registrar Jennifer Lewis-Fowler said that, of the more than 14,000 voters in the county, 24% had already cast their ballot through early voting or mail-in. Then today -
JENNIFER LEWIS-FOWLER: So far this morning, as of 10:30, 11, we have had over 1800 voters.
She said that Greene County --
LEWIS-FOWLER: Normally has an early rush, but it's been pretty consistent throughout all the polling places today, so I'm thinking we might have some really high turnout numbers.
William Hay came out to vote like he does every year.
WILLIAM HAY: Well, I'll tell you. I voted for Youngkin, because I believe he's good for the schools. He's going to be good for the economy. We need to lower our taxes. We're being taxed to death in Virginia, and McAuliffe had his chance what, eight years ago or whatever, and he screwed up then, as far as I'm concerned. And he doesn't deserve -- he needs to go back to New York.
Independent voter Cornelious Johnson said he went for McAuliffe, because Youngkin --
CORNELIOUS JOHNSON: … won't denounce Trump, and I won't vote for anybody that won't, that stands for Trump … The Republicans had a good runner this time, but I -- because he would not say Trump was wrong and the Republican party right now is still saying that the voting is corrupt.
Thanks in part to registrars such as Jennifer Lewis-Fowler, voting is still safe in Virginia.
A steady trickle of voters filed into the gym at the Lucy Simms Continuing Education Center this afternoon. Both of the voters who spoke with WMRA outside the historically Black high school said they were motivated to come out by school curriculum issues.
WILLIAM KNORPP: I was a Democrat until very recently. I'm very concerned about the direction of the Democratic party. I think they've gone, become a radical left party.
William Knorpp voted for Youngkin.
KNORPP: Even though I don't have kids I'm concerned about the education question and the critical race theory issue, which is not exactly about critical race theory, but that's -- it's close enough.
Local resident Leanne Shepherd voted for McAuliffe.
LEANNE SHEPHERD: Because I believe that everyone has the exact same chance at having a great life.
She wants, in the schools --
SHEPHERD: Free access and the ability for everyone to be able to learn the appropriate parts of history.
Anne Byrd, chief of the Simms polling place, said they'd had a 29% voter turnout by the time I stopped by at 12:45. She's worked the polls for about 13 years.
ANNE BYRD: My mother was the officer of election, and she's now 93, so she kind of gave it up years ago, years ago, and then she just kind of got me involved in it, so I've been doing it ever since.